More than 4 million foreign visitors arrived in the Philippines in 2012, the highest number posted in the country’s tourism history.
The Department of Tourism said on Wednesday that a total of 4,272,811 visitors arrived in the country last year, 9.07 percent higher than the 3,917,454 posted in 2011.
Leading the list of the country’s top visitors are South Koreans, who supplied a total of 1,031,155 visitors or 24.13 percent of the total volume. South Korea was the first to supply more than a million visitors to the country, reflecting an 11.45 percent growth from 2011 figures.
This was followed by the United States, which accounted for 625,626 visitors or a 15.27 percent share. Japan ranked third with 412,474 visitors or 9.65 percent of the total inbound traffic, DOT said.
Rounding out the list are are China with 250,883 arrivals (5.87 percent), Taiwan with 216,511 (5.07 percent), Australia with 191,150 (4.47 percent), Singapore with 148,215 (3.47 percent), Canada with 123,699 (2.9 percent), Hong Kong with 118,666 (2.78 percent), Malaysia with 114,513 (2.68 percent), United Kingdom with 113,282 (2.65 percent) and Germany with 67,023 (1.57 percent).
Overseas Filipinos, meanwhile, supplied 5.05 percent to the total tourist traffic with 215,943 arrivals, posting a growth rate of 4.24 percent.
“Crossing the 4-million mark is a feat in itself and puts us well on track to achieve our ultimate goal of 10 million visitor arrivals by 2016,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said.
DOT added that Japan, Taiwan and Russia surpassed their respective target arrivals.
However, the country was not able to reach its 4,556,582 visitor arrival target for the year, citing economic and political pressures from traditional markets such as the US, Europe and China.
“It is going to become increasingly challenging tomeet future targets. But we know that Filipinos are the biggest believers of our slogan,
It’s more fun in the Philippines. We remain confident and will continue to build on the positive energies in order to cross the 5-million milestone in 2013,” Jimenez said, adding that DOT will focus on market development this year.
(Story courtesy of Jovan Cerda of the Philippine Star)